Review & Giveaway: The Prisoner by Sara Allyn

Review & Giveaway: The Prisoner by Sara Allyn The Prisoner by Sara Allyn
Series: Orlona #1
Published by Independently Published on August 31, 2018
Pages: 402
Source:Copy provided by author for review

"No one knows for certain why the ground of the mountain moves or why it speaks. What we do know is that where it moves, it speaks and where it speaks, it moves." - Orook, First Engineer of Pegasea

Maria is an American graduate student lured to the planet of Olrona by the naverkoo, a mysterious entity with a nearly limitless power to create and transform life. In what she believes to be a dream, she walks onto an inter-planetary transport ship and is taken to the secluded mountain city of Pegasea on the planet of Olrona.

The highly evolved people of Pegasea struggle to maintain their population despite a dire shortage of Pegasean women. In order to avoid social strife as they face inevitable extinction, they live under a strict set of social rules known as the Pegasean Rules of Order and Etiquette (or "PROEs”), which quickly become the bane of Maria’s existence as she tries to adapt to life in this alien city.

I generally accept like, one review request a year. If that, tbh.  Not because I am an ass (but maybe I am an ass, Idk) but because I just am so overloaded and overwhelmed. My point is, I have to really be interested to accept. By the fact that I am telling you this, you can infer that I definitely was intrigued when the author requested a review. It sounded so unique and enjoyable, and I am happy to report that it WAS! I was super invested and legit thought about the story when I wasn’t home and wanted to get back to reading. That to me is a huge win! And sure, there were a few things I had qualms with, but overall I devoured this one. So much so that there’s a big old giveaway (so stay tuned!), but let’s break it down, shall we?

The Things I Loved:

  • The story itself was compulsively readable. Like, I was jonesing to get back to it while I was at work and such, I was that into the story. I was desperate to find out all the things about the characters and the world. The author would give us answers, and then a few more questions, which is always my favorite. It feels like the story is literally unfolding and it’s fabulous.
  • It’s so very thought provoking! I mean, Maria didn’t exactly plan to be spending her days on another planet. She definitely didn’t sign up to be an alien companion. As such, there are so, so many questions of a morally gray variety. Because we are reading this book through the filter of the human/Earth experience. What does it mean when there is a whole other sentient species involved? Is there really a right or wrong answer? So many things to ponder!
  • It’s sci-fi that sci-fi fans will enjoy, but it also isn’t too heavy if sci-fi isn’t really your jam. I loved that the other species were relatable, but also certainly not human. The author did a great job of showcasing that. Not only were all the species different in looks, but in other ways too. Yet, there’s that common thread of being sentient beings that held everyone together.We’re also on a whole new planet, with its own rules and terrain and customs. Even more exciting, I don’t think the part of the story dealing with Earth is over yet, even though nearly the entirety of the story takes place off Earth. That’s all I’ll say for fear of spoilers, but there is just SO much that can be done with this world (worlds?)!
  • The characters were really well done, even the secondary ones. Speaking of the differences in species, I was really impressed that I was able to feel a connection to characters who were so unlike myself. The Pegaseans were a much more logic-centric group, and I of course understood Maria’s emotions. But that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t see where they all were coming from! Somehow, even when I was so mad at someone, I still understood their motivations, and that’s the mark of a well-written character for sure.

A Thing to Mention:

  • This is not (for me, personally) a bad thing, or a good thing, it’s just… a thing. So Maria is human, as the synopsis has told us. The Pegaseans are not. Maria, as a human, is considered… less than by the Pegaseans. It isn’t because she’s female, the female Pegaseans are highly regarded, and the few human men are treated the same as human women. But it’s worth noting that Orook is essentially in a role of power over Maria, according to Pegasean society. I don’t want to delve into it more than that, because spoilers, but I did feel like it was something to mention, because certainly it might cause someone discomfort, though I found it to be a nonissue in the way it was handled as the book (and relationship) progressed.

The Things I Didn’t:

  • A few of the relational dilemmas were resolved a bit too quickly. Or perhaps a better way of putting it, off page. Like- there probably was more to it than we’d see, but that made it seem a little easy? And I don’t mean just the romance, I mean all relationship issues. In fact, that was probably my only “big” issue with the book- I just didn’t want things to be resolved so seemingly quickly or easily. As for the romance, it isn’t really insta-love at all, it’s just that I think we don’t get to see as many of the little things that lead to them catching feelings.
  • I do wish there was a bit more backstory about Maria’s life on Earth. And maybe that is coming later in the series, so I hold out hope! In fact, I feel like there is some kind of connection/story there, but I would even take some of the more mundane aspects for now. Just to connect to Maria a bit more, really!

Bottom Line: After finishing the book, I immediately headed to Goodreads to see when I could expect to read the next one. So I feel like that says all you need to know, yeah?

Three people win a Kindle ebook of The Prisoner!! AND three MORE people will win a paperback copy, with huge thanks to author Sara Allyn! (Winners will choose in order they’re chosen!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What the heck would you do if you suddenly woke up on another planet? I mean, besides tears and panic? Let us share ideas!

Posted December 14, 2018 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Giveaway, Review / 15 Comments

15 responses to “Review & Giveaway: The Prisoner by Sara Allyn

  1. Sara Allyn

    Thank you so much Shannon! Email me if you would like to add a few paperbacks to your give away. I have plenty of copies just sitting around waiting to be read and I would be happy to cover shipping to the winners (within the continental US).

  2. It’s odd that sci-fi isn’t my jam, since both my degrees are in science fields (isn’t it required that I love it?). The few I have enjoyed were on the sci-fi-lite side, so I appreciate you mentioning that.

  3. Ahh YAY for good surprises! I don’t read a ton of sci-fi but I keep meaning to change that because I’m definitely missing out on some good books out there. (Also totally get how overwhelming this can all be, so even taking on one review request a year is good!)

  4. Wow this sounds pretty good. Pretty unique premise too, which is nice. Glad this was a win. Morally grey questions plus the story unfolding so naturally- definitely sounds awesome!

  5. I totally get you on the overwhelmed by too many books thing so you’re only accepting a select few review copies! I get you. I love sci-fi so this sounds like that would be right up my street. Not sure how I feel about the power role but I think I’d be able to survive reading it. And easy resolutions do happen a lot when it comes to endings lately for some reason. But it seems like there were a lot of good elements to this book and that is so promising! Great review x

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    • Sara Liva

      Hi Olivia, The power role is complex and not what it first appears to be. You have to just have “faith” in the beginning I guess. In any case, I am always more than happy to send out free copies to book reviewers any time. If you would like a free paperback (or 2), please let me know. I would be delighted to send them out to you.
      Sara Allyn

  6. I’ve had to reduce the number of books I review, but have been trying to feature new authors like this all the same. It’s worked out well. I haven’t read a sci-fi in ages, this one sounds so interesting. Very different!

    (PS — My teen daughter and I have started watching The 100 together. I think of you every time she tells me how much she likes it!)

    • Sara

      Hi Dianna, If you would like a free paperback (or 2), please let me know. I would be delighted to send them out to you.
      Sara Allyn

  7. Beth W

    I hadn’t heard of this one, but it actually sounds great. Thanks for posting your thoughts on it! (and, as usual, forcing me to add more to my TBR list….you meany) 😀

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